The sudden twist in Hunter Biden’s investigation implies that his legal troubles could drag on for months, potentially creating an unwelcome new hurdle for his father’s White House and reelection bid.
A few weeks ago, the shadow of criminal suspicion was lifting from Hunter Biden. However, designating David Weiss, the prosecutor investigating President Biden’s son, as a special counsel on Friday was as significant politically as it was legally. This new position gives him additional powers to expand his inquiry – possibly beyond the confines of his current patch in Delaware to other states, potentially as an American attorney.
The change in circumstances came after a fall from a deal last month, where Hunter Biden likely faced charges for two felonies after being accused of wrongdoing. The deal would include a provision that would resolve the serious gun charge. On Friday, Weiss filed in court that negotiations for the deal – which one judge had expressed concerns about being unconstitutional – have now hit an “impasse” and the case is likely to proceed.
The possibility of President’s son facing trial, under the scrutiny of the media, would be a nightmare for any White House, especially amidst an ongoing, and possibly turbulent, reelection campaign. This could increase the burden of investigation on the President and his family, as they already grapple with their only surviving son overcoming addiction over the past five years.
“The risk for Hunter Biden (of a trial) is potentially much greater, and it’s not good for his father either… Does the son really want to bring a case against the President in the midst of a campaign?” said Gonzales, who served in the George W. Bush administration.
The precise legal implications of Weiss’s request will become fully apparent in the coming weeks. For instance, the question arises why Hunter Biden would want to end negotiations with a plea deal and then seek his new elevated status, stating he doesn’t need special advisory powers, especially when Garland, the Attorney General, made the judgment that it was that moment under the American special counsel law when there were sufficient criminal allegations to warrant an investigation and possible conflicts in keeping Weiss under the direct oversight of the judiciary Department?